Announcement masthead
Yourist Studio Gallery slogan

News, Events, Inspiration ◊ June 2024

Inside this issue: New Summer Studio Practice class scheduled. Summer-term classes start soon. Now's the time to register. Kay's new soda kiln has its first successful firing. Check out this brilliant result from one of our new Speedball glazes. Plus more exhibitions, events, and informative videos.

Charlotte Allen proudly displays her beautiful bowl

This bowl by student Charlotte Allen

packs a tremendous WOW punch

Stay engaged with clay...

...throughout the summer in our new Summer Studio Practice, which will give advanced and intermediate students 24/7 access to work in the studio from July 20 through September 7. And you still have time to sign up for our summer-term wheel and hand building classes, as well as the Surface Design With Slips enrichment class. But the countdown to the new term has begun so book your class today.

Classes running this summer include

Introductory and Continuing Wheel

  • Mon, Jun 10-Jul 15, 3:30-5:30 pm, with Kevan Wilson
  • Mon, Jun 10-Jul 15, 6:30-8:30 pm, with Kevan Wilson
  • Wed, Jun 5-Jul 10, 10:00 am-12:00 pm, with Jenneva Kayser
  • Thu, Jun 6-Jul 18, 10:00 am-12:00 pm, with Nancy Bulkley
  • Thu, Jun 6-Jul 18, 12:30-2:30 pm, with Nancy Bulkley
  • Thu, Jun 6-Jul 18, 6:30-8:30 pm, with Nick Glynos
  • Sun, Jun 2-Jul 7, 11:00 am-1:00 pm, with Jenneva Kayser

Intermediate Wheel Throwing

  • Sun, Jun 2-Jul 7,1:30-3:30 pm, with Jenneva Kayser

Coffee and Clay (In studio or via Zoom)

  • Wed, Jun 5-Jul 10, 10:00 am-12:00 pm, with Nancy Bulkley
  • Sat, Jun 15-Jul 20, 9:30-11:30 am, with Nancy Bulkley

Surface Design With Slips

  • Mon, Jun 3-Jul 8, 6:30-8:30 pm, with Jenneva Kayser

New! Summer Studio Practice

  • Daily, Jul 20-Sep 7, 24 hours, 7 days a week, with YSG Team

Reserve your seat now.

New class spotlight:

Summer Studio Practice

Keep your skills fresh in this 7-week Summer Studio Practice from July 20 to September 7 for intermediate and advanced students. As a participant, you will have access to work in the studio 24/7, spending as much time as you like honing the skills you've learned in classes. It's your opportunity to keep working with clay between our summer and fall terms.

Summer Studio Practice

  • Daily, Jul 20-Sep 7, 24 hours, 7 days a week, with YSG Team

Learn more and register here.

June Try It

Good Reason Number Three for taking our Try It class: Making pottery is a great artistic outlet.

Try It Once on the Wheel

  • Sat, June 22, 1:00-2:30 pm, with Laila Chalati

Sign up now.

Studio life

Kay's kilnin' it

Kay applies soda during the first soda kiln firing

Kay introduces soda during the first firing,

while Dave Timm assists with the firing

After months of hard work, Kay, Dave Timm, and generous volunteers have finished her soda kiln and successfully fired it for the first time. Kay's soda kiln is a reduction-fired gas kiln into which soda (sodium [bi]carbonate) is introduced during the firing to produce spectacular surface effects on the pottery. As potter Harry Levenstein explains, the soda "...will vaporize and interact with the red hot surfaces of the work leaving beautiful flashes of color and glaze."

Potters have used a variety of firing methods, such as wood firing and salt firing, to obtain dramatic atmospheric effects on the surfaces of their pots. Soda firing was first developed as an alternative to salt firing because of the harsh effects of the salt and its vapors on the kiln and the environment. Potters have since made soda firing an established practice in its own right.

Because soda firing is a specialized and intensive process, future firings of Kay's new kiln will be open to limited participation by advanced skilled studio members and advanced students only.

Kay will offer a soda kiln class this fall for eligible soda firing participants. We'll have details about the class and registration information in a future mailing and on the website. Meanwhile, you can see a soda firing in progress in this video from the Leach Pottery.

Kay extends a special thanks to Dave Timm, whose engineering knowledge, hard work, and whole-hearted support helped to bring this project to fruition.

Results of first soda kiln firing

Results of the first soda kiln firing

A closer look

Closeup of Charlotte Allen bowl

Close-up of Charlotte Allen's dazzling bowl

Combine a graceful shape and a vivid glaze and you get the WOW factor of this bowl made by student Charlotte Allen. The glaze, by the way, is Dragon Stone, one of the new Speedball glazes we're now stocking in our potters' shop. Please let us know about your gorgeous results with these glazes so we can share them here in the newsletter.

Pottery pickup reminder

To make space for new work, we must remove all bisque and glaze pieces that have accumulated on the shelves in May.

  • Please pick up your glazed pieces and take them home to enjoy.
  • Please glaze your bisque ware now or take it home for glazing in the future.

Regrettably, any unclaimed bisque ware and glazed pieces remaining after June 29 must be discarded to free up room on our shelves.

Job opportunity

Studio intern

We're interviewing potential studio interns for summer and fall to help with studio maintenance in exchange for studio use. The successful applicant should know how to mix glaze, load kilns, mop floors, and perform other typical studio duties. An internship is a great experience and resume building opportunity. Please send a letter of interest, including your previous pottery studio experience, to Kay Yourist.

Potters quick tip

Putting professional finishing touches on teapots

Q. You recently featured a video by Florian Gadsby with tips for giving vessels a professional finish. Might he have made a similar video for teapots?

A. Yes, indeed. Gadsby covers the many small, "unseen" steps he follows to make successful teapots, including how he keeps the holes between the spout and body of the pot free of glaze and how he uses wadding in the glaze firing.

These videos are part of our continuing series for beginners at all levels.

Clay lover's events

Inspiring story of deaf and blind potter

How deaf and blind potter Kelvin Crosby

has found healing through clay

On-site exhibitions

We'll let you know when new ceramics exhibitions are on display and open to the public. Before you go to an on-site exhibition, be sure to check the art museum's web site for any current health precautions.

Pewabic: Detroit's Pottery: documents the pottery's past while celebrating the present. Pewabic Pottery. Ongoing. More . . .

Fragile Bodies: The Figure in Glass and Clay. "Illustrate[s] the human form’s powerful symbolic potential to embody an idea, to express an ideal, or to embrace that which is vulnerable and human." Flint Institute of Arts. Now–June 30, 2024. More . . .

From Asia to the World: Ancient to Contemporary Art. Display includes blue-and-white porcelain, celadon, and enamel ceramics from China, Korea, and Japan. Toledo Museum of Art. NowJune 29, 2025. More . . .

From Earth to Sky: Ancient Art of the Americas. Ancient ceramic sculptures from Mexico and Costa Rica (200 BCE–200 CE) offer a glimpse into the lives of people more than 2,000 years ago. Flint Institute of Arts. Now–August 25, 2024. More . . .

2024 International Ceramic Art Fair. 10 days of contemporary ceramics, artist talks, gallery tours, and more. Gardiner Museum. Now–June 2, 2024. More . . .

The Art of Dining: Food Culture in the Islamic World. Paintings of elaborate feasts, sumptuous vessels for food and drink, and historical cookbooks. Detroit Institute of Arts. September 22, 2024–January 5, 2025. More . . .

Spotlight—Toshiko Takaezu: Worlds Within. Chronological retrospective for "one of the most accomplished artists to work with clay in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries." Cranbrook Art Museum. September 27, 2024January 12, 2025. More...

Pottery perspectives

Opportunities to expand your knowledge of ceramics past and present.

The consolations of clay. Be inspired by the story of Kelvin Crosby, the DeafBlind Potter. In addition to mastering pottery, Crosby is building a school for potters with disabilities. More . . .

The Beauty of Ceramics. Experience the masterpieces of ceramics in the Shanghai Museum. More . . .

The May unforgettable dinnerware on-line lecture from the International Museum of Dinnerware Design is now available as a video: East Coast Collector Talks About West Coast Pottery with John Moses. More . . .

And three from Colossal:

Gastronomic ceramic lamps and vases by Eléonore Joulin. More . . .

A garden of whimsical delights by Megan Bogonovich. More . . .

Yummy decadent dessert sculptures by Fondation Bernardaud. More . . .

Other events

MCAA 2024 Exhibition and Competition poster

Celebrate Michigan Ceramics 2024 at its biennial juried exhibition and competition, which features work submitted by MCAA members and Michigan-related ceramicists. Entries will be judged by noted ceramic artist George Rodriguez and are due on July 1. If you are interested in submitting your ceramic art, see the event page for full details.

Michigan Ceramics 2024

September 27-October 31

Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center

Resources for potters

How to throw a strawberry pot

Strawberry pots forever

Join teacher and potter Karan Witham-Walsh of Karan's Pots and Glass as she demonstrates how to make a big strawberry pot on the wheel. Along the way she shows how to build up and center 21 pounds of clay using several balls of clay and recommends helpful slow drying tips.

A coiling master class

Demonstration of coiling large pots

There are those who consider coiling pots a primitive technique producing unsophisticated ware, but that is certainly not so in the hands of potter Wanying Liang of Liang Pottery Studio. Here she builds and decorates two large coiled bowls, with a braided rim atop one of them.

Although you may never intend to make such large coiled pots, this video is worthy of your attention for the bounty of helpful information it provides about coiling and decorating pots. You'll also enjoy the sweet interludes with her charming children (and future potters?), not to mention the occasional visits from curious roosters.

In part two of this video, which is in the works, Liang finishes decorating the second pot and explains what these pots are used for. We'll provide the link here when it's available.

Studio, Gallery, and Shop hours

Here are our open studio, gallery, and shop hours for 2024:

  • Tuesday, 12:00-6:00 pm
  • Wednesday, 12:00-6:00 pm
  • Friday, 12:00-6:00 pm
  • Saturday, 12:00-6:00 pm
  • Sunday, 4:00-8:00 pm

There are no open studio hours on Thursday. Saturday open studio hours begin at noon with the exception of one Saturday a month, when the Try It Once on the Wheel class meets from 1:00 to 2:30 pm. Check our class schedule for the date for this class.

Please remember to sign in when you arrive for open studio and sign out when you leave. And make sure to clean your work area thoroughly before leaving.

We welcome all ceramics lovers and all area potters to shop with us for their pottery needs during our open studio hours. Students may purchase tools as needed during their classes as well.

To help us keep our studio safe and healthy for all students and members, please keep track of current advisories on the transmission risk and hospitalization numbers for COVID and other communicable respiratory diseases in Washtenaw county at this link:

Washtenaw County Health Department page

We have curbside delivery of clay, tools, and pottery during our regular hours. If you have a specific need, please call us at the studio, during regular hours, at 734-662-4914.

Yourist Studio Gallery

6087 Jackson Road

Ann Arbor, MI 48103

734-662-4914 | Instagram

•Classes and workshops

•Community studio workspace

•Pottery tools for sale

•Exhibit gallery